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Will this Partnership Work? Walmart & American Express
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Did anyone see this one coming? The megastore giant partnering with the credit card maven. It’s definitely not an average partnership where customers can easily see the connection, but this one might work. And what are these two brands hoping to achieve? Accessibility and ease with a new online banking and financial tool. Will it work? Maybe. Will it be trusted? Probably. When there are two powerhouses that join forces and the product and strategy are well thought out, the success rate for an idea is probably a little bit higher. But there are risks, too. This is asking customers to understand a partnership that may not feel innate to them. It’s forcing them to trust two brands in a different aspect of their lives and give them a chance. This can’t be done on brand name alone, but instead the idea must prove to be THAT GOOD so customers want to join in. With an idea that is a little new and foreign when thinking about these brands, customers need back-up. They want to know they are getting benefits and this partnership will give them nothing but smiles and happy banking pleasures.

It’s called Bluebird. (Not sold on that name yet, but time will tell.) And it provides customers with a new option for banking and finance management. All the hoopla that every customer hates about banking is literally thrown out the window...or at least that’s what Bluebird is promising. It’s basically taking all the benefits of American Express and making it accessible through an everyday banking program. It feels like real banking for real people. And the partnership that created this new product/service was definitely thought out. Most of the details and info on the site are brought to customers through American Express. It seems that Walmart is a bit behind the scenes when it comes to the banking lingo and really only appears as a vehicle of where to buy. So it leaves banking to the experts, making customers feel at ease, yet gets the word out through Walmart's gazillion locations. Smart partnership move.

Partnerships are tricky. There are no hard and fast rules on how to create success with them. But American Express and Walmart definitely did some research. The brands clearly determined where each would fit and when it makes sense to talk about the partnering brands. Walmart is not plastered all over the Bluebird website, because American Express is really the finance expert. Yet when it comes to accessibility, Walmart pops up as the answer of where to buy and how to enroll. Each brand has specific tasks within this partnership and by making these clear the customer feels safe, understands what’s happening, and is more likely to give it a try. There’s no guarantee that this partnership of two successful brands will create an award-winning product, but with a thought-out plan of attack there’s a good chance it might do well.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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